Thursday, November 22, 2018

Can't Stop, Won't Stop

One hoardy thing I do, when it comes to checking out books on a certain topic at the library: I cannot stop at one.  It might be better if I just got ONE book at a time, on a topic like let's say for example, rock painting.  But nope.  I do a search on the library website, and I request pretty much ALL the books be sent to me. 
Obviously, I'm not the only one that's taken up the art of rock painting lately!
These are the books on rock painting that I've checked out so far, but believe it or not, more are on the way, from some of the other library branches.

I realize it's probably not best that I go about it this way.  For one thing, I'm being greedy.  If someone else wants a book on rock painting right now, they're sort of screwed due to the monopoly I've now taken on the rock painting books.  But, in my defense, I reserve them online based on title only, so when I check them out, my first intention is to just browse and see which ones I like best.  I MEAN to return the ones I like the least, but then, I end up liking all of them. And I don't want to return them.  Ever. 

The other reason this abundance tactic is not good- I check out all of these books for 3 weeks, but I don't really have time to go deep with any of them.  If I could control myself and just settle for one book at a time, I could immerse completely, and in 3 weeks time, I'd probably be totally done with it.  Instead, because I have- at this point- 5 books about painting rocks, I have really just scratched the surface and before I know it, 3 weeks is up, and they're all due and I feel like I need all them just a little longer.

As long as no one else has put a hold on a book, I can renew it for another 3 weeks.  And I usually do.  Up to 3 times, which is all that is allowed.  BUT.  I tend to look at books I've borrowed less once they've sat around for a while.  I don't know why, but I know that's how it goes with me.  The novelty wears off, and I put it on a bookshelf and sadly, ignore it.

As I mentioned, I've currently got 5 books from the library on rock painting.  And as if that wasn't enough crafty madness for the next 3 weeks, I've also got a handful of books on Zentangle as well.
Zentangling is my JAM
What would really suck is if I bought all of these books.  Honestly, I'm not fully utilizing any of them.  But at least I'm not wasting any money on them.

I do like all these books.  At the very least they're great for flipping through and getting inspired.  Occasionally, I run across one of these types of books I love so much I feel like I just have to have it permanently on my bookshelf as a reference.  I love that the library gives me a great opportunity to preview things before deciding purchasing.

There is so much to love about the public library system.

Monday, November 19, 2018

150 More Reasons to Love the Public Library

If you know me, you know I'm a big fan of public libraries.  I loved my library branch in Dallas, and now that I've moved to Colorado, I've learned it's not just the Dallas Public Library I love.  In fact, I have a feeling Colorado respects and gives more money to their library systems than Dallas because... well, not to be mean, but they're even better!  Way better selection, less of a wait time (if any) on new books because they have more copies, and they're opened 7 days a week.  (There's more advantages I've found, but there's no need to rub it in. Sorry Dallas.)

Anyway, lately, I've been using the library as a way to keep my meals fresh and new.  The cookbooks I've owned for years have grown a little stale.  And the recipes I find online usually look better on my computer screen than they taste in real life.  I've checked out a few cookbooks  from the library lately, and I have found lots of new recipes Fermin and I love! 

Here's one I checked out today.  I was just flipping through it, and I cannot wait to try out tons of the recipes listed in here.  As a bonus, they're all quick and easy. 
I really don't get why more people don't use the local libraries!  They are a GOLDMINE, in my opinion.  I think I'll do a week-long series this week of cool ways I've been using the library lately.  Stay tuned.  I hope you'll be inspired. 

Friday, November 16, 2018

Being Human

Today I went to IKEA to pick up a small bookshelf and some extra hooks for a peg board I got there a few months ago.  Sounds like a quick and easy errand, right?  Except it's IKEA. Anyone who's ever been there knows: it's a maze, and it's nearly impossible to get out of there fast.

I had stopped for lunch on my way there, which means (because I'm a Type 1 Diabetic) I had recently taken insulin.  Because I planned to go on a hike with Lucy as soon as I got home from my "quick errand", I took a little less than I usually do at lunchtime. Anyway, it's always a guessing game and every day, needs change for reasons we can measure and understand (i.e. how many carbs we are consuming, how much insulin we are taking, how active we are immediately afterward) and there's also all the mysterious elements we don't understand, can't measure, and really don't even know about that play into things as well.  Trust me, it's complicated.

I felt like I was walking around and around, not really getting anywhere.  But that's sort of how I always feel at IKEA, don't you?  Those arrows on the floor started to feel very frustrating.  I felt like surely, I must be getting near the end of the road. Eventually, I found the hooks I was looking for.  But as I looked at the package, my brain felt so muddled.  How many hooks were actually in there?  And were they the same shape?  And how many was I suppose to get?  And why the hell was my vision tripping me up so hard?

Just then, I heard the ambulance sound my Dexcom app makes as a warning when I'm having "urgent low blood sugar".  Ah ha! That explains the big mental struggle I was having.

I reached into my purse for my preferred method of quick sugar to raise my blood sugar- Mentos!  But I only had about 6 left in the package.  "That's probably enough to get me out of this," I thought. But I also realized my brain was just failing me, so really... what did I know?  What if it wasn't enough?

I tried thinking rationally. I thought I could always buy some candy or a Coke there, but then, with that confusing maze, how could I find it quickly.  Could I just ask a nearby stranger if they happened to have any sugar they could give me?  OH. NO.

I was getting dizzier and more confused by the second.  And I was having little black spots in my vision that I sometimes get when my glucose level drops severely low. There was nothing left for me to do, so I just sat down in the middle of the aisle.

And within just a minute or two, a girl appeared out of no where, and leaned down and said, "Do you need help?  Are you okay?"

Honestly, I'm not exactly sure what was said between us, but it went something like this. 
Her, again, because I think I was just staring and not responding to her first questions: "Really, anything you need. I can get you water, or food, or just whatever.  Just let me know how I can help you.  I work here. We have a care team for stuff like this and I can get them to give you whatever help you need."

Me: "Well...  I'm not ok. But I think I will be.  I'm sorry. Maybe it would help if I  could get some quick sugar- like juice."

I felt stupid and embarrassed, but also desperate and grateful she showed up when she did.

She walked away for a minute, and then came right back to let me know she had told them (the "care team") where she was so they could come to us.  She sat with me as I kept apologizing and telling her that I thought I was already feeling much better. She said, "Hey, this is no big deal.  I'm more than happy to help you.  This is just BEING HUMAN."  She told me her grandfather had diabetes so she remembers him having trouble like I was, when she first noticed me. I had asked her how she noticed I was struggling and she said, "Well, I don't normally see anyone plop down in the middle of the store- usually not even kids, unless something's really wrong."  Who knew that was the universal SOS cry?!

As soon as the two care team people showed up with some orange juice, I was just overcome with emotion.  I think I was scared, freaked out, and as a bonus, my brain was just really struggling to come out of it's deep fog.  And I found myself not only on the floor, drinking oj with 3 IKEA employees around me, but then all of the sudden, crying.  And truthfully, I was just crying because I was thinking how sometimes, being human is such a fragile, and also nice thing.  I was reminded that that's really what we as humans are all about.  Helping each other when we suffer the proverbial fall.

Being human.
It's not that big of a deal.
But GOD, do I appreciate it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

15 Minutes EVERY Day

I recently heard a local author talk about how she got into the habit of writing consistently.  She said she always thought she needed a big chunk of time to write, and so she just kept waiting for a day when she would have that big window of opportunity.  But with young children, and a busy life, she never could find that long stretch of time she thought she needed.

Then one day, she said, she heard Elizabeth Gilbert say something about setting a small and attainable writing goal.  And then to commit to it, each day, even if for just 5 minutes. Show yourself you mean what you say when you make that commitment.

So this author I was listening to decided to write for 15 minutes, every single day.  No days off. 

Apparently, that method somehow got her to the status of New York Times Bestselling Author.  I'm pretty sure she got to a point where she was writing more than 15 minutes a day, but when she started, she started there.  Because you have to start somewhere.  Somewhere that you know you can succeed.

I used to write on my blog a lot more consistently.

Over the months and years, I've gotten out of the habit.  I often think, "I should write a blog post about this!" And even more importantly, "I WANT to write a blog post about this!" But instead, I go for the most immediate way of sharing- I post on Instagram instead.

The story I tell myself is that to write a decent and coherent blog post of any sort takes at least an hour.  And usually, in that moment of inspiration when I want to write for my blog, I don't have a full hour. But maybe if I just kept it down to a 15-minute-a-day commitment, I could get back into the swing of things around here.

You could apply this 15 minute idea to anything creative that you want to do but, like me,for some reason you keep putting it off. If we all wait around for huge chunks of creative time, we may end up creating absolutely nothing.

So there it is.  15 minutes of writing on my blog each day. Please note,  I didn't say a post a day.  Just 15 minutes of me drafting, editing and eventually, posting on my blog each day.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Music Monday: Don't Try Suicide by QUEEN

We went and saw Bohemian Rhapsody over the weekend, so OF COURSE the pick for today's Music Monday had to be Queen.

I'm choosing this slightly lesser known song, Don't Try Suicide.  I LOVED this song as a kid. 

Back when I was in about 5th grade, so I guess was about 11 years old, my dance teacher brought in "Don't Try Suicide" and showed us the choreography we were about to learn.  The song sounded different than anything I had ever heard before and I thought it was so cool.  As soon as dance class was over, Mom took me to Sound Warehouse and we bought "The Game" album so I could dance my ass off.  I wish so much I could remember the routine, because if I could, I'd video me dancing to this song right now and post it here.  We are probably all better off without the memory though...

When I'm listening to it now, all these years later, I find it pretty funny that the dance teacher chose this songs, and as far as I know, no parents complained about the lyrics or content.  I have a feeling if this song was chosen for a dance class of 'tweeners today, it'd be a news story or something.  And the teacher would probably lose her job at the dance studio.

Thank God we weren't so politically correct back then.  I love Queen, and was introduced to them via "Don't Try Suicide". I had heard their songs on the radio, but it wasn't until this song that I started buying their albums for the deep cuts.  (Pun intended.)

Enjoy "Don't Try Suicide"... "you're just gonna hate it."

Saturday, November 3, 2018

November is Diabetes Awareness Month #happydiabeticchallenge

One (small) part of my identity is I'm a Type 1 Diabetic.  I've had it for so long now, I don't even remember what not having it is like.  It's very rarely something that cramps my style at all, and in fact, I think I probably live a healthier life because of it.  I have to really pay attention to what I put in my body (insulin and food!), I go to the doctor for checks ups way more frequently than the average person, and I make sure I'm active every single day no matter what.  Would I be this way if I didn't have Type 1?  Probably, but I would let myself slip into bad choices far more often, I have a feeling.

Anyway, if you have diabetes or care about anyone who does, you might pop over to my blog dedicated to diabetes.  November is Diabetes Awareness Month and I'm participating in an online challenge, posting something about diabetes each day to help educate others about what it is.

Each person who has diabetes, whether it's Type 1 (like me), Type 2, gestational or whatever--  everyone has their own specific and unique experience with the disease.  But we can all share and learn from each other's stories for sure.

Here's a link to my blog in case you're interested.
You can also search the hashtag, #happydiabeticchallenge, on Instagram to find all sorts of people posting on behalf of awareness during the month of November.  Thank you so much for caring. ❤️